Raja Sara Petra
Another year gone and another year ahead of us. 2016 can be described as a most volatile year, as was the year before that. 2015 and 2016 were years of political instability and uncertainty. Many predicted that Prime Minister Najib Razak would not survive the year but he proved his sceptics wrong. Not only did Najib survive 2015 and 2016 but later tonight he is going to usher in the new year as well.
Will 2017 be any different or will we just be seeing a continuation of the politics of 2015 and 2016? Most important of all, will 2017 be the year that Malaysia holds its 14th General Election, as many are predicting, or will the Prime Minister wait till 2018, as the Constitution allows? I suppose at this stage even Najib himself cannot answer that question because we live in troubled times and the situation is so fluid the current can reverse from one day to the next.
For us rakyat who sometimes have no control over our fate and destiny, we just hope that those politicians who walk in the corridors of power, or who aspire to walk in the corridors of power, will take cognisance of the plight of the rakyat. In all this political play the rakyat normally ends up as fodder, or as the Americans would say, collateral damage. Over the last 100 years, wars have been fought between those seeking power and more than 100 million lives have been unnecessarily lost. Please do not use the rakyat as tools of your lust for power.
From the economic standpoint, 2017 is going to be a difficult year for many Malaysians. What we want to hear is what the government is going to do to ease the economic woes of the rakyat, and what the opposition can do to improve that and do better than the government. Thus far we have not heard what the politicians have planned for Malaysians. They want us to vote for them and put them into power but they never tell us what benefit that would be to the rakyat. It is time the rakyat ask both sides of the political divide what they will do for us before we give them our votes. And let 2017 be that year we ask: what’s in it for us?